Colorado Rights Blog


  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

Starz Film Festival and the ACLU of Colorado Presents: SILENCED

Join the ACLU of Colorado on Thursday, November 20th 6:30 p.m. at the Starz Denver Film Festival (on Colfax) for a screening of the documentary: Silenced

What if the government you fear turns out to be your own? In Oscar nominee James Spione’s documentary, three whistleblowers relate chilling accounts of their persecution for speaking out against the U.S. government’s post-9/11 use of torture, illegal surveillance, and other unconstitutional acts.

Tickets are $8 and may be reserved or purchased in advance by contacting Caryn at or calling 720-402-3109

At first glance, Academy Award nominee James Spione’s Silenced looks like a fictional spy thriller. But for those involved, it’s far too real.

In this chilling documentary, Spione interviews three high-profile whistleblowers who give disturbing first-person accounts of their persecution by the American government for telling the truth. They explain how since 9/11, the Bush and Obama administrations sanctioned methods never before allowed under the Constitution. Rules were twisted to permit torture, illegal surveillance, and disregard for due process, all in the name of anti-terrorism.

Justice Department lawyer Jesselyn Radack; Tom Drake, a senior official in the National Security Agency; and John Kiriakou, CIA chief of counterterrorist operations in Pakistan, tell their stories with candor. For speaking out, they lost their jobs and suffered enormous consequences.

The film reenacts Kiriakou’s journey from when he first witnessed waterboarding to his exposing the use of torture, and finally to the government’s accusation that he violated the Espionage Act of 1917.

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